Saturday, December 14, 2019

More Insight Into The Crossfire Hurricane Case Opening

Stephen McIntyre has a very interesting twitter thread that in a sense extends commenter Mike Sylwester's remarks regarding the transmittal of the Downer/Papadopoulos "information" from the FBI Legat London through the Philadelphia Field Office--which I commented made no sense under any scenario--to Cyber Division at FBIHQ.

What I've done here is simply paste in from Thread Reader App McIntyre's own text. However, if you follow the link below what you'll find is that, as he says, in his tweets he has cross referenced the (frustratingly redacted) Strzok/Page texts. Those texts offer a sort of running commentary on events at FBIHQ leading to the opening of Crossfire Hurricane. You'll need to follow the link to see those.

A point worth mentioning. McIntyre states that Horowitz says that Crossfire Hurricane was opened by the FBI's Criminal Division. However, on p. 89 of the full pdf of the report we read:

On July 31, 2016, the FBI opened a full counterintelligence investigation under the code name Crossfire Hurricane "to determine whether individual(s) associated with the Trump campaign are witting of and/or coordinating activities with the Government of Russia." 

I think McIntyre is getting this wrong. Consider:

1) Strzok, a CI official, wrote the EC that Bill Priestap (top FBI CI official), used to open the case;

2) Strzok continued to supervise the case, under the CI command structure headed by Priestap;

3) The obvious reason for opening Crossfire Hurricane was to get a FISA--Foreign INTELLIGENCE Surveillance Act;

4) Comey testified to Congress that Crossfire Hurricane was an Enterprise CI Investigation--which makes perfect sense to me, given that CI officials at FBIHQ seem to have handled it from beginning to end.

THREAD: cross-reference Strzok texts to Horowitz during origin of Crossfire Hurricane.

July 28- Legat in London sends information to Philadelphia Field Office, who sends to Cyber Section Chief at FBI Headquarters. Strzok involved almost immediately.

2/ Strzok-Page exchanged numerous texts in morning of July 28 (mid-day in London), all redacted. There is gap in texts during day, so probably some others.

3/ gap in Strzok-Page texts from noon July 28 to 6:40 pm July 29. This was first day that they were assimilating information from Legat.

4/ FBI officials deliberated from Jul 28 to Jul 31. Described in Horowitz, pdf 84-86 (snail pages different).

5/ in evening Jul 29, exchange between Strzok-Page. A redacted exchange early in evening.

6/ in morning Jul 30, Strzok and Page discuss responding to email from REDACTED. Strzok says that they plan to respond verbally and follow up with written notice, but neither until they "come to final agreement about what we're turning over"

7/ further Strzok-Page exchange on Jul 30 morning appears to be about residual tasks on Clinton email (MYE).

8/ at this time (and I should have posted this upthread), FBIHQ has not talked to Downer or Thompson, and was relying on embellishment by Dibble and/or Legat, excerpt of which are in Horowitz

9/ on Jul 30, while opening of Crossfire being deliberated, Strzok and Page had racist exchange about Russians. Hint in exchange that Strzok's trip to London is being planned; he's trying to get Lisa to come along for more convenient sex. Op directed by Andy [McCabe]

10/ Horowitz confirmed that Crossfire Hurricane was officially opened on (Sunday) Jul 31 by Priestap with specific concern about whether "someone on Trump campaign" had "accepted" "offer from Russia".

11/ in Downer's interviews, there is NO mention of Russia making an "offer" to anyone in the Trump campaign. That notion appears to be embellishment by Dibble of State Dept or FBI Legat in London, but this embellishment has far-reaching consequences. 

12/ there is a gap in Strzok text from 12:36 pm to 7:10 pm Jul 31. Their evening text, previously surmised to be Crossfire Hurricane, is now conclusively proven to refer to the opening of Crossfire Hurricane.

13/ Horowitz disclosed that Crossfire Hurricane was opened by Criminal Division (CD) as a possible violation of FARA. While this form of opening did not preclude national security reasons. it's interesting that it opened as criminal case, not counterintelligence.

This appears to be incorrect.

14/ Strzok and Pientka (SSA1) traveled to London on Aug 1.

15/ I missed this in thread: on July 29, the FFG information was discussed in a meeting with McCabe, as well as Carter Page and Manafort - both of whom are thus shown to be persons of interest to senior FBI officials PRIOR TO opening of Crossfire Hurricane on July 31

16/ Strzok arrived in London on Aug 1. Checked in with Lisa at 4:07 pm. Lisa tells him that McCabe "cancelling their brief" as he "wants it first". Seems to be something to do with Bill [Priestap], nominally in charge.

17/ on Aug 2, Priestap and Intel Section Chief (anyone know name?) briefed NSD lawyers, including Laufman and Toscas.

18/ under FBI policies, FBI was required to provide written notice to NSD. Horowitz observed that FBI placed notice memorandum dated August 3 in the file, but didn't send it to NSD (which had no record of receiving it.) FBI purported to excuse on basis of oral briefing

19/ also on Aug 2, Strzok, Pientka &Intel Section Chief received notice that an FBI source contacted by an investigative firm (Fusion GPS) working for Democrats who were investigating links between Trump and Russia. CH team thus had early notice of potential DNC involvement

Dan Bongino argues that Footnote 461 may actually be referring to Steele and Orbis. Thus:
461 The only express direction we found that McCabe gave regarding the use of a CHS concerned a former FBI CHS, who contacted an FBI agent in an FBI field office in late July 2016 to report information from "a colleague [Steele?] who runs an investigative firm [Orbis?] ... hired by two entities (the Democratic National Committee [DNC] as well as another individual ... [who was] not name[d]) to explore Donald Trump's longstanding ties to Russian entities." The former CHS also gave the FBI agent a list of "individuals and entities who have surfaced in [the investigative firm's] examination," which the former CHS described as "mostly public source material." ...
It seems frankly unclear, but one way or another McIntyre's take is right: the FBI had every reason to know that the Clinton campaign was involved.

20/ Intel Section Chief is Moffa according to @Fool_Nelson, a reliable analyst. I wonder why he isn't named.

21/ on Aug 2, Strzok checks in with Lisa. Key redactions. Lisa worries about how they're going to "protect" their information from Congress.

22/ FBI and Australians appear to have been haggling about terms under which Australia is making officials available to FBI. Strzok worries that OGC will ask for something that will prevent interview with Downer.

23/ In early US afternoon, Moffa and REDACTED (wonder who) standing by with Lisa. Meanwhile, Strzok seems to be annoyed by email from NSD lawyer Laufman who, together with Toscas and others, had been briefed earlier on Aug 2 by Priestap and Moffa (Intel Section Chief).


  1. I am writing you a guest article. In the meantime, here is my annotation of a passage of the Horowitz report (page 51).


    The FFG official [Downer] also provided REDACTED [surreptitiously recorded] information from REDACTED [cooperating] FFG officials REDACTED [summarized] following the May 2016 meeting (hereinafter referred to as the FFG information). REDACTED [The summary of the recording] stated,....


    In other words:

    Downer also provided surreptitiously recorded information from cooperating Australian officials, which was summarized following the May 2016 meeting (hereinafter referred to as the Australian information). The summary of the recording stated ....

    1. The obvious question seems to be: What kind of "diplomat" goes around "surreptitiously recording" junior associates of a US presidential campaign? Nothing could be more obvious than that this a concerted effort strectching back well before the case opening. To my mind, based on experience, this should have raised flags in FBI minds. That it didn't suggests that they were waiting for this.

  2. Mark,

    The confusion arises from the way Horowitz abbreviates things in the report. This confused me at first for about 2 minutes- I had started the reading at Chapter 11 in which it is repeatedly described as being under the auspices of "CD". I, like I suspect McIntyre did, read this as "Criminal Division", but it really refers to Counterintelligence Division- I literally Control Fed the document to verify that my memory wasn't incorrect.

    1. Right. That occurred to me, too, and I checked it out. To be honest, I'd forgotten the abbreviations or acronyms, but knowing that Priestap opened the case and knowing Comey's testimony I knew it was a CI case.

  3. Let me add this to the mix. Lefty Glenn Greenwald has an excellent summary of the IOG report, while adding criticism of media collusion with the Deep State actors in this imbroglio.

    It's a pretty good summary of the crucial issues for those lacking the time to delve into the report. Granted. most of this has been discussed by Mark, and in the comments here.

    1. Yeah, I've got that on my list. He's been excellent on this all along, like Taibbi, Mark Penn, Dersh, and a few other liberals.

    2. Yeah, and you can add J. Turley, at .

      Among other things, he does quite well, in refuting the DoJ's excuse for telling Russia, but not DJT, about Steele's dirt.

  4. Yeah, Yancy, I tripped over the same "CD" abbreviation, but was unimaginative, so I walked it back to a previous mention and discovered it meant counterintelligence division.

    This July 2016 weekend is the same weekend that Bruce and Nellie Ohr had breakfast with Steele in Washington--on July 30. How convenient. (Lee Smith book, p.224)

    Smith's book cites February 2016 as when Steele was activated as a FBI CHS. FWIW.

    1. I don't buy the idea that the FBI was "played" by Brennan. Of course it's possible that he didn't totally take them into his confidence, but I believe that the small group at the FBI were on board with the basic plot all along.

    2. Also, not only did Bruce and Nellie breakfast with Chris and his Orbis sidekick,but Bruce then met with Andy and Lisa and briefed them on what Chris was peddling, and Andy and Lisa then briefed Peter. That's why I've always assumed that, despite the PapaD/FFG narrative, the dossier was key to the CH case opening. I suspect the whole truth is yet to come out.

    3. Don't know if this will paste properly or not, but FWIW, this is what O wrote up this afternoon after reading McIntyre's twitter-essay:

      >> Stephen McIntyre‏ @ClimateAudit 37m

      18/ under FBI policies, FBI was required to provide written notice to NSD. Horowitz observed that FBI placed notice memorandum dated August 3 in the file, but didn't send it to NSD (which had no record of receiving it.) FBI purported to excuse on basis of oral briefing

      (missing image from IG report)<<

      This excuse for "not" sending the LHM to DOJ makes no sense -- if they briefed DOJ orally, they are in possession of the "sensitive nature" information whether or not a LHM is sent to DOJ. Furthermore, if they are concerned about leaks associated with processing the LHM, they could have hand delivered it to the appropriate DOJ officials, same as any other sensitive document, which one assumes happens all the time between FBI and DOJ.

      The only explanation I can think of that makes sense is that by NOT sending the LHM to DOJ, it eliminates the possibility of DOJ having to divulge it in response to a FOIA or Congressional subpoena "for all documents pertaining to an investigation of any presidential campaign personnel" or similar demand.

      And that is consistent with them getting a FISA warrant based on bogus barroom "hearsay & gossip" bullshit, which they never even tried to validate before applying for the warrant, while ignoring who paid for it -- i.e., if the real intention was to just spy on the Trump campaign using the two hop-rule of the FISA warrant on Carter Page, then nobody gave a crap about validating the evidence used in the warrant, because, since Hillary was *supposed* to win, it would't matter once the election was over. Whatever they collected under the warrant wasn't for any real counter intel purpose or criminal prosecution -- those were merely the pretexts for the warrant and investigation that gave FBI the opportunity to spy on the campaign (to make sure Hillary didn't get blindsided by an "October surprise" from Trump?) The fewer documentary records there were for nosy Congressional Committees to Hoover-up, the less chance there was on anyone ever finding out it had ever happened.

      end part I

    4. Part II

      The Strzok/Page text message really spells it out:

      {missing image of text messages)

      The 7:11PM text says it all: The other one (Hillary's email server investigation) mattered, too, but only in they sense that "we ensured we didn't f*ck something up." I.e., it was a cover-up, to conduct an investigation that DOJ did not want, but was forced to do because of the ICIG audit that found classified material in many of the 47 emails audited from Hillary's email server, turned over to the DOJ, including two that were TS at the SAP access level. Strzok clearly knew the outcome was pre-ordained for FBI -- sanitize the mess Hillary created, and make sure she doesn't have to be indicted. So in that sense, it didn't matter what they did, as long as they didn't "f*ck something up."

      But the Trump/Russia investigation really mattered, from Strzok's standpoint. He either felt unfettered, to pursue whatever outcome the evidence led to, unlike MYE; or he felt it really mattered in the sense that he was STOPPING Orange Man Bad from becoming president.

      If it was the former, one would have to question Strzok going along with all the weird things that ensued; instead of defensive briefing top level people in Trump's campaign, and interviewing PapaD and Mifsud ASAP, to find out who actually said what, and whether the Russian offer was real, and where it originated.

      Since there's no evidence of him pushing back against the peculiar direction the investigation took right out of the box, I must suspect he was at the very least up for screwing over Trump as much as possible, if not an overt member of the conspiracy from the outset.

      In a later text message shown in McIntyre's thread, L. Page explicitly talks about how they She and Strzok) should be concerned about hiding stuff from FOIAs and Congressional snooping, thus confirming my hypothesis.

    5. Yes, it's all there. Excellent, EZ.

    6. Re: "(to make sure Hillary didn't get blindsided by an "October surprise" from Trump?)" -
      More likely they were looking to create an October surprise for Hillary. That's why they were running CHS into members of the Trump campaign.

    7. I agree, Anon. Both, but primarily offensive, as you say.

  5. On the subject of predication, a guy named Hans Mahncke has retweeted some of McIntyre's stuff and is asking a lot of questions about the Downer/PapaD interaction and what Horowitz did with it. Pretty interesting, albeit confusing thread. I have no idea who Mahncke is.

    1. I've been pretty clear that I disbelieve the PapaD predication narrative and believe it was based off Carter Page. Despite the Horowitz report I still have difficulty with that.

    2. Mark -- I probably disbelieve the (truth of the) PapaD predication narrative more than you! Because I still believe PapaD isn't clean himself. That's what I found 'interesting' about the Mahncke tweets. There's some stuff in there about PapaD dirty dealings with Israel which, god knows at this point, may or may not be true.

      I still wonder if the 'insurance policy' wasn't a total fabrication concocted by, say, Brennan, to (a) assist in inserting a young and impressionable dupe, PapaD, into the Trump campaign (explains PapaD's trip to the Link campus in Rome before joining the Trump campaign), (b) arrange for a mysterious Western intelligence clown for hire, Mifsud, to meet PapaD, insinuate that he was a Russian agent, and offer him some kind of nebulous Russian 'dirt' on Clinton, (c) get Downer to meet and debrief PapaD and then (d) get Downer to report to FBI that PapaD was talking to 'Russians' who wanted to help Trump.

      Clumsy? Invented? Stupid? Easy to disprove? Unbelievable?

      Yes, all of the above. That's why it was an insurance policy. That's why they never really wanted to use it and why the story, even today, post-Horowitz, doesn't hang together.

      But when the (in some ways equally preposterous) Carter Page narrative wasn't working, and they needed to start up Crossfire Hurricane, they had to go to Plan B.


      I suppose Mifsud could clarify all of the foregoing if he were motivated to...

    3. I'm in general agreement with most of the above.

      The bottom line re PapaD is 1) he was very obviously targeted for nefarious purposes against Trump, 2) he had no Russian connections that would add credibility to the story, and 3) he had no real connections to the real heart of the campaign to add credibility. Nothing else that we've learned remedies any of that, whether PapaD is on the up and up or not. We know that the Deep State's use of PapaD was definitely NOT on the up and up.

      By contrast, the Carter Page narrative works very well to open the case and get a FISA--UNTIL you learn what the FBI actually knew about Page. Then it falls apart totally. But on a superficial level--fool most of the judges most of the time--it works better than the PapaD story for all purposes.

      Bottom line? We don't have the whole story yet.

  6. Also, and I think this relates to predication, why doesn't Durham ask Assange who he got the DNC emails from? At the time, Mrs Clinton (or Robby Mook) claimed the 'Russians' hacked the DNC computers, right? Isn't her assertion a big piece of the 'Russians interfered' narrative?

    But if Assange didn't get the emails from 'Russia', pls remind me again how else 'Russia' interfered in the 2016 election?

    My impression is that Assange was prepared to prove he didn't get the emails from Russia when Comey stepped in and killed the deal.

    Based on what we now know about Comey and his character (compared to what we thought we knew in early 2017) wouldn't it be interesting to know what he and Mark Warner were actually up to?

    1. All true. If Assange isn't interviewed in depth I call coverup.

  7. And, as we are learning, there are now many questions about the behavior of the FISA court. Devin Nunes wonders out loud whether we will even have a FISA court when all is said and done.

    So its probably becoming about time for the 'FISA court' to defend its actions, right? Hello, John Roberts...

    Good luck with that.

  8. FBI claims that it was notified about the May 10, 2016 Papadopoulos statement to Downer on July 26, 2016 leading to the opening of Crossfire Hurricane on July 31st. Bongino cites OIG report that Horowitz only reviewed FBI texts going back to May 31, 2016 and none prior to that date. Strozk/Page texting on May 11th (day after Downer meeting) reveal that FBI was in communication with SoS about urgent matter, presumably a flash communication with FFS about the Papadopoulos conversation. If so, FBI knew about the Downer affair as early as May 11th and this information was being withheld as a covert backup plan, i.e. the insurance policy. If so, Durham has documentation to verify this and is smoking gun evidence that official predication basis was contrived.

    1. Think that's why Durham and Barr told Horowitz he should keep his mouth shut about predication? LOL!

  9. Do I read you right, as being facetious here, and that the IG's refusal to probe the goods before 31 May was, ahem, suspect?

    1. I do think the IG's statements re predication were somewhat reckless in hindsight. His testimony rectified that, but he knew what he was writing.